TAMPA — A former Norwegian Cruise Line employee accused of having sex with a 16-year-old female passenger during a seven-day cruise that originated in Tampa was sentenced to nine years in prison Monday.
Senad Djedovic, 29, a resident of Bosnia and Herzegovina, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a charge of possession of child pornography. Djedovic had been accused of soliciting and accepting sexually explicit images from the girl he met on a cruise.
Djedovic, whose prison term will be followed by six years' supervised release, was an assistant cruise director.
An investigation began Feb. 27 when a Norwegian crew member notified the ship's security that Djedovic showed photographs of the teenager to him and several other employees. The next day, the cruise line alerted the FBI.
Djedovic met the 16-year-old victim on a trip that left Tampa on Jan. 29 and returned Feb. 5, according to an FBI affidavit.
The Minnesota resident was traveling with her parents. The affidavit did not name the victim, as is usually the custom with minors and victims of sex crimes.
The ship's internal security team obtained a signed statement from Djedovic dated Feb. 28. In it, Djedovic admitted to having sexual contact with the victim on a staircase on the ship, right after the cruise stopped at Costa Maya, Mexico.
When the victim left the cruise on Feb. 5, Djedovic gave her his work email address. They exchanged several emails that month, the affidavit said.
"I wish you said yes way earlier than the last day because we would have way more fun," Djedovic wrote in an email, the affidavit said. "I miss you big time . . . you little young girl."
Investigators say Djedovic stored about 20 photos of the victim from multiple emails that appear to have been sent from Minnesota while he was at sea. She wore clothes in some but was naked in most.
In return, Djedovic sent the victim graphic photos of himself and a video of him masturbating in front of her photo, according to the affidavit.
Attorney Mark O'Brien, who represented Djedovic, said he was pleased with the sentence because his client could have faced more-serious time.
"Due to a deal we struck months ago, no charges will be brought against my client relating to his sexual relationship with a minor girl that started the entire investigation that revealed child pornography on his computer," O'Brien said in a written statement. "At the end of the day, Mr. Djedovic's sentence could have been much harsher than the sentence he received today."